Did you just get an email in your inbox about an upcoming tradeshow for your industry? Contemplating a fun outdoor festival attracting large audiences in a major market?
Many companies throw events onto their calendars in the hope of selling product to prospects.
The thing that is missing?
Event marketing, like many other marketing strategies, can have an important role to play in your company’s development. But just like digital campaigns, print or display advertising, direct mail, or any other marketing tactic, event marketing needs a plan.
Here’s Commandment #1 to remember when executing a successful event marketing plan:
An Event is an Experiential Marketing Opportunity.
An event is NOT (just) a sales occasion. You are NOT standing behind a cash register.
Here are 6 tips to leverage events to maximize leads, convert sales, and (most importantly) build visibility & reputation.
1. Sit down at the beginning of your FY and build out an event calendar for your company.
2. Don’t schedule an event you have never been to, or one you’ve never spoken to prior vendors about. Do your homework.
3. Come up with a clear Call to Action for each event that aligns with your business goals. Are you trying to drive web traffic? Do you want email leads? Follows on Facebook? Product purchases onsite? Seasonal promotions? One-on-one conversation with a key partner?
4. Craft the message for each event in accordance with your Call to Action.
5. Track all interactions, email leads, products sold, and materials distributed.
6. Follow up after the events to make sure you are using the data and all the leads you captured.
Just like any marketing tool, event marketing can sometimes take a few years to “get right.” Be willing to experiment over time and tweak along the way.